Thursday Jul 02, 2020
Former captain and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has come out in favour of Sarfaraz Ahmed, criticising the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for its knee-jerk reactions on captaincy matters, adding that it was wrong to replace someone who had a sizable track history of winning.
Inzamam, who was the chief selector for much of Sarfaraz's tenure but was himself replaced following Pakistan's World Cup exit last year, rued the culture of short-termism in national cricket, explaining in detail how it is counterproductive.
"Sarfaraz kept the team number one in T20, won the champions trophy, won other matches too, which proves that he was an able captain," Inzamam told Geo Super.
"Form can come and go but it was premature to remove a captain who had won us so much."
Inzamam said that the threat of sacking created by the authorities speeds up a captain's downfall.
"If the captain starts getting messages that he can be dropped, that itself triggers his plight. At times the captain's focus is also on others' performances. That and the pressure can affect the captain's own performance," he said.
"Even during the World Cup, he (Sarfaraz) was under pressure that if the team does not do well, he'd be removed. How can a player deliver and fight on the field when there is so much pressure?"
Inzamam reminded the critics that even the great Imran Khan had more than his share of failures before leading the team to their sole 50-over World Cup win.
"People talk about Imran Khan but even he won the World Cup after 10 years. If we keep on changing captains every two years then how would the captain get the experience. You get up only when you've been down."
“It is unfortunate that by the time a captain starts getting experience of dealing with all sort of things, he is removed and the next one is named captain which is not good for cricket.
Inzamam further said that a captain has the final authority and should have all the powers, not the coach or anyone else.
“A captain is responsible for everything inside the boundary and he should be empowered enough to call the shots,” he said urging the powers that be to give Azam a proper run as captain.
Replying to a question, Imzamam said that Azam will not be the dummy captain.
He also described Azam as a world class batsman and said that his best was yet to come.
“In just a few years he has achieved a lot and I know he can do even better than what he has done so far. Kohli has been playing for 10 years while Babar's been here for three, four years but if you compare initial days of Babar and Kohli, you’ll see Babar is ahead,” Inzamam said.
The Pakistani batting legend also took aim at the criticism he faced for selecting his nephew Imam-ul-Haq, saying that the batsman's stats proved as a vindication.